Tyrel's Blog

Code, Flying, Tech, Automation

Jan 31, 2023

6502 NES Course by Pikuma

As I mentioned in my December post I'm doing a 6502 course on Pikuma.

I'm about 75% of the way done, and I think I need to circle back to some earlier stuff about how the PPU works, but it's super fun.

Over the holidays I was able to stop at my father's and pick up my old NES. I swapped out the ZIF connector for a new one, and cleaned up some contacts on the RCA ports, and it works great! Once I found out that it was working - I played Sesame Street ABC 123, as that's the only one I had up in my office - I ordered an EverDrive N8. That came last week.

The pictures are tall due to how I took them, so sorry I'll attach them at the end of the post.

Once I got the EverDrive N8 I made sure it worked by playing a Battletoads ROM. Battletoad tested - I then copied Atlantico.NES to my Everdrive. Atlantico is the game that Gustavo is walking us through making in the current part of the course - not a real published game. I loaded it up and HOLY COW - something I actually wrote in Assembly is running on real hardware.

If you want to watch the video, it's very simplistic at the 75% mark, this was before the Collisions chapter, and no sound yet.

The feeling of getting something running, locally, and seeing it working on screen, despite being a programmer for ~~20 years, is AMAZING. Writing code that executes on the system you grew up playing the early 90's, wow.

I do wish the CRT TV my wife had was square, things get cut off on it. I even got a remote, so I could try to fix that in the menu, alas, only picture option is brightness. (Not that I realistically thought I could scale it, CRT Pixels are only Pixels.

 · · ·  6502  assembly  NES

Dec 16, 2022

Advent of Code 2022 + End of Year Updates

Advent of Code this year is kicking my butt so I haven't been doing any tech blogging really lately. If you want to follow my progress, I think I might be done as of day 15 - This one seems to be a traveling salesman/knapsack problem related. Here's my repo: https://gitea.tyrel.dev/tyrel/advent-of-code/src/branch/main/2022/python.

I'm not on the computer that runs it, but I've been spending a lot of time playing with Apple's System7 in the BasiliskII emulator. Might have some fun projects with that coming up, but wanted to do some more learning before I start anything. So I have been going through a course on 6052 Assembly programming for the NES, and I'm about 73% done with that, it's really great!

It's By Gustavo Pezzi at Pikuma, if "oldschool" programming floats your boat then I definitely recommend it. It's all programming through making roms with CC65/CA65 assembler, and using FCEUX to see your results, super neat.

I've been picking up some more Go work at work. My current team is sort of disbanding so I'm going to be moving away from doing just Python. It's been a year since I've done Go stuff, since I left Tidelift, so I'm really rusty.

Speaking of Rust, I was trying to do Advent of code in Rust also, and made it TWO whole days in Rust. It's still on my bucket of stuff to learn, but my free time seems to be running out lately, and I have a lot of things on my plate to get done.

 · · ·  python  adventofcode  6502  assembly  rust  go